Prepare for your soul to be touched by the music and the story in A Star is Born. The chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga was very believable and inspiring. Just as Jackson Maine’s (Cooper) music career is hitting rock bottom, due to excessive alcohol, drugs and hearing loss, he stumbles into a bar one night after a show to find his next drink. The bar turns out to be a drag bar, where he hears Ally (Lady Gaga), a friend of the owner, sing the French song La Vie en Rose. Their connection is almost instantaneous, sparked by their musical talent. Impressed with her vocals and song writing skills, he helps launch her career. I must admit to being a die hard Sam Elliott fan, and I love him as Maine’s older brother, who looks out for him and his career, but realizes he needs help. As Ally’s career is ascending, Maine’s career is spiraling and even when he hits rock bottom, Ally is willing to make sacrifices.
The remarkable new music throughout the film demonstrates how the power of a song can connect the audience to the story. This movie has garnered positive critical acclaim and I couldn’t agree more. From authentic performances, real chemistry, solid writing and realistic cinematography, this movie is an endearing modern take on a classic. Even though this isn’t your typical happy ending Hollywood love story, the movie pulls you in and makes you feel connected with the characters, who expose their intimate selves.
Bradley Cooper was involved in just about every aspect of this film from producing, directing and starring in this adaptation. Cooper approached Lukas Nelson, son of country singer Willie Nelson, to help with the music for the film. Nelson wrote several of the songs and also co-wrote others with Lady Gaga. This is her first major movie role, and she insisted on singing all the songs live to help to create true authenticity.
I didn’t realize that this was based on a true story, and the third remake of the original 1937 version of this movie featuring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; the 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason was the favorite of the lady sitting next to me in the theater. I haven’t seen, but was familiar with, the 1976 rock musical version showcasing Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. After seeing this movie, I am definitely going to binge watch all the versions to decide which one is my favorite. I’m pretty sure I’ll like them all.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Director: Bradley Cooper
Written By: Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth, Will Fetters
Actors: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Alec Baldwin, Dave Chappelle
Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Rating: R (for language, some sexuality/nudity, and substance abuse)